Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa insists that the F150 launched today [Friday] in Maranello is a world away from the F10 it replaces, even though the car appears visually similar to the one raced in 2010.
The F150 will feature a moveable rear wing and a slightly revised front end to incorporate changes to the side air intakes, while the intake above the drivers head has also been modified.
Under the skin, the new car will feature a KERS system which has led to changes within the engine compartment while cockpit protection is increased as part of stricter safety requirements. The car does however retain push-rod rear suspension as opposed to the pull-rod system used by a number of rival teams – including defending champions Red Bull – last year.
“As far as the looks are concerned the rules keep them quite unaltered,” Costa said. “The cars look like the ones from last year, but from a technical point of view they will be really different.
“The major aspects with the most impact on the project were connected to the aerodynamic development. The car will change a lot. The double diffuser, the F-duct, is gone. The driver can't change the car's aerodynamic set up anymore. The underbody won't have any 'holes' in the central part anymore. This is a fundamental change.
“The rear wing will be movable, so that the driver can overtake the car in front of him and use it in the qualifying according to his needs. The KERS is back. Although we've improved its size, it's still quite big. Therefore the technicians had to redesign the car's layout. There are also new safety rules. We participated in the changes the Federation made to improve safety on the track, which is always extremely important.”
Despite the fact that the car has yet to hit the track, chief designer Nikolas Tombazis confirmed that there are a number of changes planned before the opening round of the 2011 campaign in Bahrain.
“We've been working on different innovations for the car: some of ours and some new for F1 in general,” he said. “The rear suspension is really innovative, so is the rear wing system. But there are more novelties coming up regarding the configuration for the first race, which aren't in the car yet, for example something for the rear wing and the exhausts.
“[However] it would be nice having some more freedom and more time. The regulations are more and more restrictive, but there is a reason for that. Otherwise the cars' performances would be too high and maybe even the costs for Formula 1 would be higher than they are today. It would be very nice having more technical freedom to create even more sophisticated systems for the car. It would also be nice to have more time available between one season and the next, to work not in such a rush on some aspects of the car.”